Bon Iver-22, A Million (2016)

My Rating: 90% (A)

Pitchfork Rating: 90%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 87%

Average Rating: 87% (A-)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. 22 (OVER S∞∞N)
  2. 10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄
  3. 715 – CRΣΣKS
  4. 33 “GOD”
  5. 29 #Strafford APTS
  6. 666 ʇ
  7. 21 M♢♢N WATER
  8. 8 (circle)
  9. ____45_____
  10. 00000 Million

Label:

Jagjaguwar

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving through a mountain pass.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Absolutely beautiful.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yeah.

Final Thoughts:

So I’ll give you the truth, this is my least favourite Bon Iver so far, but it still scored 90%, showing that the band can do very little wrong in my mind. 22, A Million is an album that takes time to digest, it’s one of those albums that’s hard to fully comprehend the first few listens, and personally it still hasn’t quite grown on me yet. It’s an album that feels like homework, it demands your attention. From the baffling track names (666 ʇ) to the overly synthy vocody-ness where the vocals sometimes get fuzzy, 22, A Million is nothing if not innovative. This may not be Bon Iver’s greatest offering, but it’s a better album than most artists make in a whole life’s work.

Advertisements

BJ the Chicago Kid-In My Mind (2016)

My Rating: 57% (D+)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 84%

Average Rating: 72% (C++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Intro (Inside My Mind)
  2. Man Down (feat. Buddy & Constantine)
  3. Church (feat. Chance The Rapper & Buddy)
  4. Love Inside (feat. Isabella)
  5. The Resume (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)
  6. Shine
  7. Wait Til The Morning (feat. Isa)
  8. Heart Crush
  9. Jeremiah/World Needs More Love (feat. Eric Ingram)
  10. The New Cupid (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
  11. Woman’s World
  12. Crazy
  13. Home
  14. Falling On My Face
  15. Turnin’ Me Up

Label:

Motown

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Falling asleep with someone you love.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Awesome album cover!

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

No.

Final Thoughts:

Okay, I’ll be honest, I think this is more a me problem than an actual problem with the album. At the end of the day I just don’t really like R&B I find it incredibly boring and overly corny. Of course I see the contradiction with being such a hip hop head, because R&B and hip hop are really close friends, but I’ve tried multiple times and it just doesn’t work for me. But aside from that what really got to me on In My Mind was the crazy amount of repetition. There would be times where I’d be sold on a song only to have it repeat the same line like 50 times, just end the song or write more lyrics, don’t make me hang onto the same thing for an extra 3 minutes. BJ the Chicago Kid has an incredible voice, just needs better material.

Parquet Courts-Human Performance (2016)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: 84%

Rolling Stone Rating: 80%

Metacritic Rating: 82%

Average Rating: 84% (B++)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Berlin Got Blurry
  2. Captive of the Sun
  3. Dust
  4. Human Performance
  5. I Was Just Here
  6. It’s Gonna Happen
  7. Keep It Even
  8. One Man No City
  9. Outside
  10. Paraphrased
  11. Pathos Prairie
  12. Steady On My Mind
  13. Two Dead Cops

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Having a hard time waking up.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Super cool, I’m a big fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

So badly yes!

Final Thoughts:

Parquet Courts took awhile to grow on me, but Human Performance was really approachable. I figured them out and that makes it so much easier to listen to them. So here’s the answer so you don’t have to do the work yourself, Parquet Courts are Talking Heads meet Sonic Youth. It’s impossible not to hear a Byrne influence with the vocals and lyrical content, and the sedated instrumentation is very SY. Human Performance is the album I’d recommend to get to know these guys, laid back, funny, and just a real chill album to put on while playing Monopoly or drinking a beer with friends.

Watsky-x Infinity (2016)

My Rating: 78% (B)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 78% (B)

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Tiny Glowing Screens, Pt. 3
  2. Talking to Myself
  3. Chemical Angel
  4. Little Slice
  5. Springtime in New York
  6. Pink Lemonade
  7. Don’t Be Nice
  8. Yes Britannia
  9. Love Letters
  10. Stick to Your Guns
  11. Brave New World
  12. Going Down
  13. Midnight Heart
  14. Conversations
  15. Knots
  16. Roses
  17. Theories
  18. (Bonus Track) Exquisite Corpse

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Wanting some fast hip-hop that sounds more like slam poetry.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

It’s super rad, I’m a big fan.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Watsky is such an interesting emcee, starting with a viral YouTube video “Pale Kid Raps Fast” and gaining notable success with his poetry, he still manages to be respected among the hip hop community. Seriously he’s featured both Gift of Gab and Dr. Dre and if those two rappers aren’t gods in their respective sub-genre’s I don’t know who is. Watsky is a punchline rapper, with a weird amount of substance, there are people doing music like him, but no one has pulled off both ridiculous lyrics with show stopping moments of vulnerability as well as Watsky has, x Infinity is one of his most interesting/well produced albums to date, and any hip-hop head should totally take the time to check out this project.

Homeboy Sandman-Kindness For Weakness (2016)

My Rating: 86% (B++)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: N/A

Average Rating: 77%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Heart Sings
  2. Eyes
  3. Real New York (feat. I Am Many)
  4. Seam by Seam (feat. Until The Ribbon Breaks)
  5. It’s Cold (feat. Steve Arrington)
  6. Talking (Bleep)
  7. Gumshoe
  8. Keep it Real (feat. Mystro)
  9. Earth, Wind, Fire (feat. yU, Tah Phrum Duh Bush & Shad)
  10. Funhouse
  11. Sly Fox
  12. God
  13. Nonbelievers
  14. Speak Truth (feat. Kurious, Breeze Brewin & Aesop Rock)

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some great hip-hop similar to Aesop Rock’s style.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Yeah, it’s not great, but it’s not awful either.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

I first heard of Homeboy Sandman through his song Not Really, I played it a lot and was impressed by his really laid back flow. I then saw him live with Aesop Rock and loved his show. Kindness For Weakness is a surprisingly solid album, I usually find with rappers like Homeboy their albums can be really hit and miss from track to track, I kind of expected to pick and choose with this album, but I ended up really finding myself invested in the album as a whole. From his well known slow style, to really fast rapping, to catchy courses, Kindness For Weakness may just be the perfect spot to start when investigating the Sandman.

J. Cole-4 Your Eyez Only (2016)

My Rating: 45% (D-)

Pitchfork Rating: 67%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 75%

Average Rating: 62%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  2. Immortal
  3. Deja Vu
  4. Ville Mentality
  5. She’s Mine, Pt. 1
  6. Change
  7. Neighbors
  8. Foldin Clothes
  9. She’s Mine, Pt. 2
  10. 4 Your Eyez Only

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for a rap album that’s more R&B than actual rap.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

I actually love this album cover, it really fits the concept.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not in the least.

Final Thoughts:

J. Cole caught my attention from his flow on the song My Nigga Just Made Bail by Bas, I was totally on board with his crew after that style. Unfortunately I’m not sure he has quite delivered an album that has lived up to my expectations from that verse. 4 Your Eyez Only fails to be a Hip-Hop album, it’s just not. There’s very little rapping on it and it’s mostly repetitive R&B. When he finally gets around to rapping, I was already somewhat pissed at what he made me sit through that it’s just too little too late. The title track 4 Your Eyez Only, coming in at just under 9 minutes, is the jewel that you have to wait to the very end to hear. Most would’ve given up but I’m glad I stuck it out for it. I usually have a hard time listening to songs that pass the 5 minute mark, but this track remains entertaining throughout its entire play. Putting the best track at the end is typical J. Cole bullshit, now I have to get into the next album he releases hopping that he will release an album like the finally song, there’s still hope for Cole, but damn dude this album was really rough.

Allah-Las-Calico Review (2016)

My Rating: 88% (A-)

Pitchfork Rating: N/A

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 69%

Average Rating: 79%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Strange Heat
  2. Satisfied
  3. Could Be You
  4. High And Dry
  5. Mausoleum
  6. Roadside Memorial
  7. Autumn Dawn
  8. Famous Phone Figure
  9. 200 South La Brea
  10. Warmed Kippers
  11. Terra Ignota
  12. Place In The Sun

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Driving down a highway.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Does next to nothing for me.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

Allah-Las is consistent, nothing ground breaking here, but consistent. Calico Review offers an album that is easy to listen to while doing mundane tasks or just staring at the roof and thinking things few, the biggest thing they’ve got going for them is just how unobtrusive their music is. It’s not something that demands the spotlight, nor does it really want it. It’s great music that you can put on at pretty much any get together without any objection. They are like the more laid back version of Woods. Calico Review is not going to be on the top of many lists, but I don’t think it’s a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a humble listen for humble moments in your life.

Woods-City Sun Eater In The River Of Light (2016)

My Rating: 95% (A+)

Pitchfork Rating: 76%

Rolling Stone Rating: N/A

Metacritic Rating: 79%

Average Rating: 83%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Can’t See at All
  2. Creature Comfort
  3. Hang It On Your Wall
  4. Hollow Home
  5. I See in the Dark
  6. Morning Light
  7. The Other Side
  8. Politics Of Free
  9. Sun City Creeps
  10. The Take

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for an alt album to jive to.

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Fits their style but I’m not the biggest fan of it.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Yes!

Final Thoughts:

Woods was a part of a large collective of groups that I discovered around the same time, there was an article with the best alt bands of the year I studied meticulously and came out with a few gems, other bands included in said list were: Grouplove, Gotye, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Arctic Monkeys. Woods stands out from the list by their unique sound, as if you’ve been transported to a dystopian New Mexico and have only the gun on your side and the clothes on your back. Woods shines in not sticking to the traditional sound, while not trying anything overly experimental either. City Sun Eater In The River Of Light flows nicely from track to track without begging for too much attention, it’s a chill album to listen to while trying to scrounge up food while keeping an eye out for our future robot overlords.

De La Soul-And The Anonymous Nobody… (2016)

My Rating: 68 (C-)

Pitchfork Rating: 64%

Rolling Stone Rating: 70%

Metacritic Rating: 77%

Average Rating: 70%

Tracklist (Standout songs underlined):

  1. Genesis Feat. Jill Scott
  2. Royalty Capes
  3. Pain Feat. Snoop Dogg
  4. Property of Spitkicker.com Feat. Roc Marciano
  5. Memory of… (US) Feat. Estelle And Pete Rock
  6. CBGBS
  7. Lord Intended Feat. Justin Hawkins
  8. Snoopies feat. David Byrne
  9. Greyhounds Feat. Usher
  10. Sexy Bitch
  11. Trainwreck
  12. Drawn Feat. Little Dragon
  13. Whoodeeni Feat. 2chainz
  14. Nosed Up
  15. You Go Dave (A Goldblatt Presentation) Feat. David Goldblatt
  16. Here in After Feat. Damon Albarn
  17. Exodus

Favourite Song on Album:

Listen to This Album When You’re:

Looking for some chill Hip Hop

Thoughts on Album Cover:

Hilarious, big fan of the style.

Want to Own on Vinyl?:

Not really.

Final Thoughts:

De La Soul is back and the result is chill if not underwhelming. The crowd funded album is as cool as a cucumber, but a little too cool if you ask my humble opinion. And The Anonymous Nobody… feels like it’s building up to something big (see Feel Good Inc. style rapping) but it doesn’t develop it just remains incredibly laid back. Nothing wrong with keeping it chill, but when you’ve been away for such a long time we rightfully expect some up-beat tunes. Their other sin is the under use of the contributors, such as Drawn Featuring Little Dragon which did not hit the mark in any sense (Seriously it takes way too long for De La Soul to join in on the fun on the track). As a filler album this would be decent, but as a return album it’s too little too late.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑